Week after fire at race shop, Leavine Family Racing returns to the track

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CONCORD, N.C. – It wasn’t the finish he wanted, but just being on track was special for Michael McDowell after a fire last week at Leavine Family Racing’s shop destroyed four cars and some of the team’s equipment.

The team spent last week working at Team Penske in preparation for Friday night’s Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Obviously with the fire, there was a lot happening at both shops, trying to get parts and pieces and tools from one to the other that were salvageable,’’ said McDowell, who finished 12th in the Showdown.

“For some of the guys that have been at LFR a long time, a lot of it is emotional because they worked on those cars and built those pit boxes themselves. It’s hard to see all that get burned up. It was a good recovery for us.’’

McDowell said he was pleased with where his car ran Friday night.

“Looking around the cars we raced around, we raced around (Brett Moffitt, Justin Allgaier and Danica Patrick),’’ McDowell said. “Those are cars that usually run five to six spots better than us. I felt like we closed the gap from Kansas for sure. That’s hard to do with a week like we had.’’